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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Blood and Bone (Shooting the Moon)

Blood and Bone (Shooting the Moon)

Erik H.
user 30994922
Seattle, WA
Post #: 15
Players: Ben, Jerome, Erik

We decided to add a level of complexity to the game this time around. The Beloved was a warrior chief, leading his people to safety, and the two suitors were spirit Gods, each trying to cajole the protagonist into following one or the other as his Patron God.

The Beloved: Tumagodin Sharp-Eye (Ben)
Never looks back, inspired, imposing, bear-skin cloak, clever, eagle-eyed
Opportunity: his people lost their homeland
Obstacle: lead his people through danger to a new home
Dream: a peaceful home for his people
The Prize: Divine Patronage
Traits Acquired in Play:
Favored of the Gods, victorious in battle, the welcome stranger, leads from the front, has nightmares

Suitor One: Gulgora the Bear God (Jerome)
Well-armored but "come at me, bro", regretful, but bloodthirsty, unnoticed but proud
Person: the Widow
Place: The Cave of Winter
Thing: The Skull of Tumagodin's father
Conflict: High Body Count
Traits from Play:
Battlewise (later replaced with Traumatized), stretched thin, obsessive, provider, weakened, traumatized, eventually sedentary
A bear god leading a warrior people

Suitor Two: Pins-and-Needles/The Baron (Erik)
Cloaked in shadows but narcissistic, relentless but insidious, awful beauty but a coy tease (awful beauty was later lost in play and replaced with Awful/Terrifying)
Person: the Midwife
Place: the Elysian Village
Thing: A skull handled cane
Conflct: the patron of Half Truths
Helpful, backstabbing, unfocused, ineffectual, insightful
A raven and shadow god, whose peaceful people eventually he uses as undead minions.

Tumagodin led his people into a valley populated by two tribes, each led by a different god. The gods had split the valley in an ancient truce. Each god took turns nudging, cajoling, attacking Tumagodin and his people. Eventually it became a three way battle in the Baron's peaceful people's village, where the Baron made plain his desire to sacrifice his own tribe to win Tumagodin's obedience, and Gulgora led his warrior tribe to attack both the Baron's pacifists and Tumagodin's refugees, to see who was strongest, and most deserving of his patronage.

The bear won and gave the raven's old village to Tumagodin's people, who became a tribe of reavers that raided their neighbors. The crow god, having killed all his followers in a failed gambit, was reduced to being a boogeyman in the forest about whom stories were told to scare unruly children.


This proved a tricky attempt. We ended up doing two risky things: 1.) we made two suitors better suited as archetypes than actors and we found it hard to effect dynamic action. We did have them act, but finding the best way to do more than talk and cajole Tumagodin was a challenge and the gamed started very slowly. 2.) we entirely reversed the hierarchy of power, and the game became almost two Beloveds wrestling for the adoration of a single Suitor.

The first Act, our scenes foundered in adversarial exchanges between Suitor and Beloved in a way that felt like the game would fail to gel. But we managed to pull it out in the scenes in Act Two.

Had we taken just ONE of those two complexities on, I feel it could have gone very smoothly. Just reverse the power structure, and left off fiddling with archetypal characters. But as it was I still found the process really rewarding.

I did feel like it was unfair to Jerome who had never played Shooting the Moon before, saddling him with such a fraught experiment instead of a basic story to acquaint himself with the game. Regardless, though, Shooting the Moon remains my current favorite. But could someone please rewrite the rules in English?

Ben R.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 302
Good analysis Erik. I also think that if we'd skipped the introductions and just presumed Tumagodin was already familiar with these patron gods it would have avoided the sense of distrust and manipulation that we started with.

But like you said, I liked the fiction once we got rolling. We just kept having to wrestle with the rules.
sev (.
Seattle, WA
Post #: 39
Good analysis Erik. I also think that if we'd skipped the introductions and just presumed Tumagodin was already familiar with these patron gods it would have avoided the sense of distrust and manipulation that we started with.

I've found that's useful for Shooting the Moon in general - spending a whole round on introductions is a big investment in a game that's max 3 rounds (and sometimes we run out of time & only play 2).

Actually, that may be good advice for one-shots in general.
Ben R.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 305
Yeah, we usually presume characters already know each other. Not sure why it escaped us this time.
Erik H.
user 30994922
Seattle, WA
Post #: 16
I think it gets easier to forget good basic lessons when we're busily half dismantling the game and reconstructing bits in a needlessly complex (but very educational and entertaining) way. It gets hard to hold everything in place when so much is in flux.
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